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Oral Surgeon in Arlington, VA | Arlington, VA Dental Implants | Washington DC Dental Implants | Arlington, VA Dental Sedation | Arlington, VA Wisdom Teeth

  1016 N. Highland Street | Suite 131
Arlington, VA 22201

Phone : (703) 566-1990
Fax : (703) 888-2891

National Safe Toys and Gifts Month

December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month. During their first winter, many children will receive teething toys and children with special needs may continue to enjoy them as their second set of teeth come in. There are many safe options available, but parents and other gift-givers may not be aware of how to use them and keep them clean.

The Teething Process

Babies’ first teeth usually start coming in when they are about six months old. Dentists recommend that biannual checkups begin at this point. For the most part, the front bottom teeth come in first, followed by the front upper teeth, with the last of the twenty baby teeth erupting by the time the child is three. Particularly during the early months, children’s gums will be sore and they will seek relief by biting down on whatever objects are available.


Besides cleanliness and choking hazards, the other issues with toy selection are chemical composition and intended use. Children often have a preference for cooler items. Many parents use a chilled washcloth to clean their babies’ gums, which is fine if the washcloth is cleaned after each use. Chilling rubber or silicone toys in the refrigerator is also a way of providing children with something cool to chew on. But toys should never be frozen. They could cause ice burns on a baby’s hands as well as their lips and inside their mouth. Gel fillings in teething rings could crack if frozen, compromising the integrity of the toy.

Some dentists recommend avoiding gel toys out of fear of leakage. But toys could also become sanitation hazards if a baby’s teeth leave difficult-to-clean punctures. It is best to avoid plastics entirely. They’re brittle and may contain the potentially hazardous chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA). It is also important to dry out and disinfect squeak toys after each use because water can enter them and allow mold to grow. Don’t allow squeaky toys in the tub. And be aware that plush toys are unsanitary to chew on unless they were designed for that purpose.

For Older Children

Older children are usually less vulnerable to choking hazards, but children on the autism spectrum may still be soothed by pressure on their teeth. Some enjoy chewable jewelry such as non-toxic bracelets and necklaces. Specialty companies offer rubber chew toys that have differently-textured surfaces to provide children with their preferred stimulation. But if misaligned teeth or jaw clenching are a concern, it may be a good idea to try motorized oral tools that will provide stimulation without the need for bite force.

Arlington Oral Surgeon | Newsletter. Ali Pashapour is a Arlington Oral Surgeon.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is intended to be purely educational in nature and does not create a physician-patient relationship with Pashapour Oral+Facial Surgery or any agent, servant or employee thereof. By no means should the information contained in this website be considered as a substitute for consultation with a qualified physician and it does not constitute a second opinion. This website and its contents do not represent or claim to provide the information needed for a patient to give his or her informed consent to any dental or surgical procedure or are a reflection of individual patient results, as they may vary patient to patient. Individual results will vary and no guaranteed result is stated or implied by any photo use or any statement, testimonial, or video on this website. The results depicted in “before” and “after” pictures and stated by any “patient testimonial” illustrate results you may or may not achieve if you choose to have a cosmetic surgery procedure. Individual results may vary by patient. Please see our Notice of Privacy Practices.

Oral Surgeon
1016 N. Highland Street | Suite 131
Arlington, VA 22201